Happy Wednesday! I am super excited for this weeks post. One of my sweet friends reached out to me this past week and shared a little piece of her heart.
I am excited to share this goodness with you and hope it will meet you right where you are! I’m praying for you guys and for your Christmas Season! Catch ya next week.
It wasn’t until mid-December of my senior year of high school that I learned that the most important skill I have in my armory is the ability to say no. The ability to be uncompromising, unyielding, and immovable in my beliefs, regardless of what the world throws my way. Everyone has heard the ever-quotable verse from Proverbs, “She is clothed in strength and dignity,” but this December, I’ve decided to do some delving into the greater context of that chapter. Here’s a more complete excerpt from Proverbs chapter thirty-one.
“25 She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. 26 When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. 27 She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness. 28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: 29“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. 31 Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.”
While the first half of this verse is beautiful, it’s 30-31 that I’m most concerned with. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” A woman who fears the Lord will not only be praised by the world, like the charming and the beautiful, but she will be granted the ultimate gift of eternal life. For me, this really puts things into perspective.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, she laughs without fear of the future,” this could be me. I have nothing to fear from this world because I have a friend in Jesus Christ. This reminds me also of 1 Peter 3:13-17, where we see the same old sentiment about the world throwing rocks at things that shine and so on.
“13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. 14 Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, 15 always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; 16 yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”
This verse gives me chills every time because I know that the Lord is speaking directly to me. It’s one thing to be able to say no, to set my boundaries based on what I believe and not what the world believes, and to be immovable in them. It’s the doing it “with gentleness and respect” part, on the other hand, that I, unfortunately, struggle with all too often. Even though I believe wholeheartedly that the choices I’m making are what my God wants for me, I still feel left out when I can’t be at parties with my friends who are drinking or go on double dates with couples who aren’t saving themselves for marriage because I feel uncomfortable. Then comes the judging.
I find myself judging as my last line of defense, a last-ditch effort to avoid the vulnerability that comes with openly declaring my faith. I don’t have to explain myself if I decide internally that my decisions are simply better than everyone else’s. Word to the wise: DO NOT DO THIS. My impulse to judge has brought me so much pain, and honestly, there should be no pain at all in making the life choices that the Holy Spirit leads me to make.
“For it is better to suffer for doing good if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”
It’s okay to say no, and it’s okay to suffer for doing good every once in awhile because what we have coming is greater than this world, and the Lord will pass final judgment on those who “slander” us now.
My goal for 2018 is to be unashamed of my faith, to be zealous for what is good, and most importantly, to learn how to say no without passing judgment on the people I care about.
XOXO, A Sweet Friend of the Christian Prepster